The 10 Best Hidden-Object Games on Facebook
Besides being free, hidden object games on Facebook feature social elements that make gameplay fun and exciting. Also, players have their own space to decorate. Mansions, manors and gardens can be decorated with mini-buildings, flower patches, embellished items and many more. They can visit their friend’s mansion, send gifts, and play mini-games.
Games like Gardens of Time started this tradition and it seems all hidden object games (HoGs) have included social gameplay elements to make them more immersive and entertaining. Some games are heavy on narrative and present a good theme to keep players at their toes. Here are some of the best story-driven, themed and gameplay-rich seek and find games on Facebook.
1. Criminal Case
Criminal Case has brought a much-needed crime-themed puzzler to the hidden object genre. Game developers have translated traditional HoG mechanics into a brilliant snoop and find game. Instead of the usual object-hunting scenes, the game takes players to a grisly crime scene full of clues to decipher. Upon solving a crime scene, the player will be rewarded with points and bonuses along with star ratings. Stars can help unlock special mini-games ranging from jigsaw puzzles to code-breaker games.
Criminal Case plays like a true crime investigation game. Many HoG scenes will present opportunities to find objects scattered around the victim’s body and send them to a virtual lab for analysis. The real-time analysis of potential clue items is what makes this game pretty different from the rest of the games. The player must solve all scenes in a case and then question a bunch of suspects. The case is solved if the right suspect fulfills the criteria collected while solving the crime scenes.
Criminal Case has some really gruesome crime scenes to investigate, which is why I won’t recommend this game to kids. The game is strictly for adults, especially for those who love CSI. It offers something new and interesting and is suitable for those who are bored playing treasure-hunt, fantasy or haunted house-themed HoGs.
2. Pearl’s Peril
Pearl’s Peril is a story-driven hidden object game where the player will step into the shoes of an art-enthusiast adventurer. Gameplay is fairly traditional HoG, with hidden object scenes ranging from simple seek-and-find puzzles to adventure-style scenes that encourage object-interaction. There’s also a Gardens of Time-like building mini-game, where the player adds items to an isometric island to earn points, which unlocks additional story scenes. However, it’s the compelling narrative that will make you play until the end.
Many times, seek and find scenes will present an opportunity to find specific objects and use them on others to complete a scene. Such object interaction can also be seen in games like Hidden Chronicles. Such scenes have to be solved in a sequence and only then you can complete it. Initial scenes are a bit boring, but as you progress, gameplay becomes more challenging and throws a mix of interactive scenes and complicated “blitz” scenes that give a chance to earn bonus points.
Pearl’s Peril offers some variety in the hidden object arena. It’s the building mini-game which may disappoint players. Overall, a good HoG to play in your free time.
3. Lost Legacies
Lost Legacies does not go beyond the traditional hidden object mechanics, neither does it offer any variety. But the one aspect that will instantly catch your eye is its simple, crisp graphics. The attractive visuals make seek and find gameplay quite engaging. Objects are easy to locate, which is why this game will be quite suitable for kids.
In Lost Legacies, your score depends on how quickly you find objects. You can get a high score by finding all objects as accurately and quickly as possible. There’s no construction/building mini-game, only a series of seek and find scenes that have a story to tell. Apart from the visuals, there’s nothing outstanding about this game. But yes, children will love to solve simple hidden object scenes. Kids, this Facebook hidden object game can be a perfect summer vacation pastime.
4. Relic Quest
Another standard HoG, Relic Quest has an excellent character-driven story. Fans of Indiana Jones will instantly like the entire plot as well as gameplay. The game is quest-based, with each quest beginning with interesting dialogues exchanged between the titular character and other characters. Players must complete the objectives within a quest to progress to a new quest.
Relic Quest also lets players build their own museum by placing rare relics on a room and earning value points to unlock a new scene. Previously solved scenes are re-playable, and give players the opportunity to attain mastery level. While the scenes stick to the traditional HoG mechanics, there are some unique plot-driven scenes that task players to find items related to the story. The puzzle scenes are randomized, which means you will find items placed randomly every time you replay a level.
Social elements let players compete with each other to top the online leaderboard. Apart from that, there isn’t anything out-of-the-box. Presentation-wise, the game looks pretty good when compared to other games on this list, but the visuals aren’t as good as, say Criminal Case or Pearl’s Peril. The background looks a bit pale and scene resolution might look blurry on large-screen monitors. However, it’s the theme, story and some hidden object puzzles that will interest HoG fans.
5. Blackwood and Bell Mysteries
With a dark, Victorian setting, Blackwood and Bell Mysteries puts you into the shoes of an amateur sleuth. By solving hidden object scenes and placing objects in your “Evidence Yard”, you unlock scenes and solve murder mysteries. Each scene has a hidden clue, which you will need to collect in order to solve a murder mystery or a robbery.
Blackwood and Bell Mysteries has impressive visuals with brilliantly executed animated cut-scenes. The "seek-and-find" objects date back to the industrial revolution, so it might be difficult for you in finding them all quickly. The game mechanics are very similar to Gardens of Time and an interesting murder-mystery plot makes this game quite unique and charming. B and B Mysteries is a must-play for all casual hidden object fans.
6. Gardens of Time
Gardens of Time combines traditional HoG with plenty of social elements. What’s more, there are many scenes that will give players an opportunity to explore far-off lands and interact with colorful characters.
There are very few social aspects, but this casual game truly stands tall when it comes to beautifully-designed HoG scenes. It was one of the first Facebook games to introduce a mini-game that lets players decorate their garden. This gives players the opportunity to earn reputation points, with which they can unlock new scenes. Despite the repetitive puzzle scenes, Gardens of Time is an amazing hidden object title and is still one of the most recommended social games on Facebook.
7. Hidden Chronicles
Hidden Chronicles (HC) is an addicting hidden object game with social elements sprinkled here and there. You are tasked to solve the mysterious death of your uncle. To uncover the truth, you will have to solve hidden object scenes, play mini-games and decorate Ramsey Manor to unlock more scenes.
HC also allows players to visit their neighbor’s manor, place secret gifts and play a timer-based hidden object game that requires them to find all hidden items in one minute.
The highlight of the game is its variety. There are plenty of secret rooms to explore, hidden object scenes to unlock and mysteries to uncover. The game has a good plot, which makes it even more interesting and engaging.
8. Mystery Manor
Mystery Manor is a fantasy-themed hidden object game. It is filled with myths and creatures. The Manor features amazing characters to interact with. Each character will request you to complete a task, which usually comprises of solving hidden object puzzles and playing mini-games. A Harry Potter-esque map will guide you to different rooms. You can explore these rooms, find hidden items and unlock additional rooms to complete tasks.
I liked the in-game magnifying glass, which allows you to search for objects that can't be detected with the naked eye. There are other fun features that add some more interactivity to the game. You purchase flashlights to find items in a dark room or buy hints to solve puzzles. However, these can be collected for free when you complete tasks.
While the game does not compromise with the traditional HoG formula, it does get repetitive sometimes. The day/night cycle adds some twist, but there isn’t any randomness in the game. You will have to search for the same objects if you replay a level. Worse, all objects will be placed in the same place. Mystery Manor is good, but not great when it comes to variety.
9. Hidden Haunts
Hidden Haunts is a spooky HoG with “photo-realistic” visuals and some excellent features that stand out from the crowd:
Illegal clicks attract a 5-second delay penalty and new scenes get unlocked once the lodestone meter gets filled up. However, certain elements such as estate decoration are an integral part of the gameplay. You will have to decorate your estate with items in order to unlock scenes. You will also have to unlock areas to expand your estate.
Hidden Haunts offers variety in its seek and find scenes. Besides room-based scenes, there are scenes that allow gamers to find objects hidden within attics, séance rooms, portrait galleries, haunted cabinets and gardens. Not every scene will be same as most scenes are completely randomized.
A unique aspect of the game is the inclusion of real photographs in a seek and find scene. Photorealistic graphics makes this game more interesting than the rest of the games on Facebook.
10. Threads of Mystery
A murder mystery-themed hidden object adventure game, Threads of Mystery brings a scary twist in the plot by introducing the ghost of the murder victim. The spirit will help the player in solving the first few levels, which actually are tutorial levels. As the game progresses, new characters crop up, making gameplay more immersive. The game presents a nice story through interconnected seek-and-find scenes.
The scenes reward bonus points for finding all items as quickly as possible. Points are also earned for accurately finding items. The game also lets players manage a building, where they can place decorative items to increase the “spirit meter”, which unlocks new puzzles. Some of these decorative items can be collected from hidden object scenes and used to design stylish dresses. This dress-up mini-game sprinkles some uniqueness to the otherwise pretty average HoG.
© 2012 Anurag Ghosh